What It Feels Like to Be Hospitalized With Schizophrenia
I woke up in an unfamiliar room, feeling locked up and looking out the window. Confused and panicked, I realized this was my first time being hospitalized and I felt completely unprepared. I questioned why my friends and family didn't come to help me and why I was in this situation.
The night before, I had been in an ambulance, feeling alone and empty. The EMT had come multiple times due to a friend's concern for my safety, but I didn't understand why. Eventually, I ended up in the ER, exhausted from dealing with the voices in my head, and was transferred to a psychiatric hospital, where I found myself locked up.
After a day, I ironically began to feel safe in the hospital, knowing no one could enter without permission. However, I still remembered that I wasn't free. As an independent person, losing control of my life and freedom was terrifying. I worried about who would take care of my home and bills if I was locked up for months or years, and the thought of losing everything and becoming homeless haunted me. It felt like a battle between me and my loved ones, as they wanted me to get help without fully explaining it to me, leaving me feeling powerless and uninformed.
Being in the hospital relieved me of all my responsibilities and distractions in life. I no longer had to worry about work, cooking, cleaning, or consuming media. My mind was clear, and I could focus on the most important issue at hand — figuring out what had happened to me and who those voices were. Although I wasn't alone, my doctor and care team guided me towards progress and stability, and their friendly demeanor made me comfortable. I reflected on our conversations throughout the day as they questioned why I was there and why I resisted medication. Additionally, my family and friends visited me regularly, proving that they hadn't abandoned me.
My hospitalization completely turned my life around. I finally connected the voices in my head to my brain disease, thanks to my psychiatrist's encouragement to consider medication. I became fully aware of my schizophrenia and began to manage it rather than just living with it. After two weeks, I was released from the hospital and resumed a functioning life.
For someone like me, hospitalization was both traumatizing and life-saving. When admitting your loved ones to a hospital, it's important to remember that they might feel confused, fearful, and powerless, especially if they don't believe anything is wrong with them. Show them support and visit them like you would for any other illness.